I did not own a pair of forestry green wool pants when I first resided in Maine. My fiancé pointed this out to me one cold winter, windy day when we were hiking and my lips were turning blue. He was wearing his green wool pants.
He purchased a pair of these pants with great aplomb for me. He was so proud of this purchase. He said that I now had the proper attire for a winter walk-a-bout. I tried to be pleased as I looked at them. They had some unusual features. There were buttons on the waistband--for suspenders, I learned. I thought them unfashionable although I never uttered such a thought!
However, on our next foray into the woods, dressed in the proper attire of long johns, wool turtle neck, wool sweater, green wool pants, felt lined boots, wool socks, down jacket, mittens (not gloves), muffler and heavy wool hat, I was toasty warm and barely noticed the cold. Except for my nose and the muffler pulled up took care of that. Now my appreciation for the pants denigrated “fashionable.”
Mittens keep the hands warmer than gloves. Cotton does not keep the body warm, no matter how many layers one puts on. If wool gets wet, it still keeps the body warm. Cotton does not hold body heat when wet. Wool pants are essential. Lessons learned in the cold north.
The forestry green wool pants may actually harken back to the Klondike Gold Rush. C.C. Filson, born in 1850, was not a prospector but a man with an acute business sense. He saw the need of durable, yet comfortable, warm clothing for prospectors. His business, C.C. Filson’s Pioneer Alaska Clothing and Blanket Manufacturers, was opened in 1897. Filson catered to his customers, actually hand-sewing special requests. He spent considerable time talking with gold-hungry men and learning their needs.
It was in 1902 that a line of clothing made specifically for loggers was introduced. One can still purchase clothing, long johns, coats, wool merino shirts and other items from the C.C. Filson company. All items are made in the USA.
It is with pride that I now wear my forestry green woodsman pants on these cold winter days. They may get tucked into the back of the closet once more but I doubt that I will consider giving them away ever again. You better believe I will be wearing them during Indiana’s record breaking sub-zero temperatures! Stay warm!
©Ann Rains, 2014 (revised, 2019)
Subscriptions are free! Just fill out the box below.